Thousands of ordinary men and women marched in towns and cities across the South West to say "no!" to the ideological attack on public sector pensions. CPB members took part in almost every demonstration, marching side by side with their fellow union members, more often than not delivering hundreds of free copies of the Morning Star.

There were some logistical problems in our mammoth effort in supporting the Star, but these provided useful lessons for the next time, commented CPB District Secretary and District Trade Union Organiser Ken Keable.
Ken said, "The most important thing that happened on N30 was  that so many workers, mainly women, took part in mass industrial action for the first time. This raised their confidence, in themselves and in each other. They felt the collective strength of the labour movement. They feel stronger and they are stronger.
"Mass action like this can change the whole situation; it can put a bit of backbone into Labour politicians and strengthen the hand of the trade union leaders and negotiators. It should cause problems for the Lib-Dems, who need these people's votes, and widen the divisions in the Coalition.
"However", said Ken, "we still need to do more to get the message across that the country can easily afford good pensions for all by taxing the super-rich, by closing tax havens and loop-holes and imposing windfall taxes on the super-profits of banks and energy companies. People still don't realise just how rich the super-rich are, or the fact they they pay so little tax or, in many cases, none at all."
First reports from around the district follow below.
 
Bristol
Even the BBC admitted that numbers in Bristol were around 20,000. Comrades gave out over 1,000 free copies of the Morning Star that had been paid for by the Unite union. Several Morning Star readers who were spotted on the march were roped in to help. Branch members achieved a logistical miracle, and despite working on foot  the paper and our message reached the marchers.
Cornwall
The Hall for Cornwall in Truro was full to its 1000 seat capacity, with almost as many people queuing to enter at 10am for the rally which opened the day of strike.  Speakers from all the unions involved and from the Cornwall Anti-Cuts Alliance detailed the consequences of having to work so much longer, paying up to 15% of earnings towards a much reduced pension, for living standards now and for a poorer retirement outlook.
Members of the Cornwall branch of the CPB, some themselves retired teachers and lecturers, joined an unprecedented demonstration in Cornwall of trade union rage at the coalition government attacks on pensions and consequent working conditions. A march through the town centre, accompanied by the supportive sounding of car and truck horns ended in a gathering in front of Truro Cathedral.
Dorset
There were red flags across Dorset as thousands marched in what is so often seen as a Tory county. Branch comrades showed their support and solidarity, standing side by side with the public sector in Dorset. CP flags were seen in Dorchester and Bournemouth as comrades marched in defence of their and our pensions. Over 1000 copies of the Morning Star were distributed through the county, many to people who had never bought a copy of the paper before.
Devon
The pickets at the tax office in Barnstaple, Petroc College and the Civic Centre received copies of the party leaflets, the People's Charter and Country Standard. One of the shop stewards on the picket lines referred to a letter by the local branch secretary urging solidarity and said she had voted communist in the general election.
In Exeter hundreds of Morning Stars were distributed to a march of at least 3,000 workers which ended in a rally at Exeter City football ground. An Exeter branch member and trade union official addressed the crowd and was greeted by rapturous applause as he pointed out the solid gold pensions of the bankers and CEOs who caused the mess in the first place.
Somerset
In Taunton there was a Fantastic march and rally of over 2000 people. A huge number of unions took part including UNISON, UNITE, GMB, Prospect, NUT, ATL, UCL, NASUWT and Trades Councils from across Somerset. Also people not on strike came to join in while on their lunch breaks. People in the street clapped as the demonstration passed.
Branch members were busy leafleting and staffing stalls while our District Chair addressed the closing rally speaking on behalf of members of her union.